My mother thinks I am lazy. I confess that I have stopped listening to her. Just because I do not enjoy ten-hour days at the office and would rather spend more time at home with my two boys and a lovely wife does not mean I am lazy. I simply have a different perspective about work and earning a living.

My mother’s reaction to me telling her I have an online business has taught me some things which I gladly share with anyone who has a moment to listen.

First, as difficult as it may sometimes seem, surround yourself with positive thinkers. I know my parents mean well, but there are better ways of expressing concern than saying something like, “why don’t you start a real business?” If this means that you share details of what you are doing very sparingly than do so. Think up some succinct but brief responses to friends and family who ask about “the online thing you are doing” when you know they do not really want to know. Do not waste your energy trying to explain to people who really do not want to understand. Let them know if they are serious about learning more you would gladly send them some information.

Secondly, appreciate the freedom you have to own and operate an online business. The opportunities are much more expensive offline because of all the potential cost overheads that must be faced. With an online business your expenses could be as minute as the cost of a computer (even leased at $50 per month) plus Internet access. Besides, if I do not want my mother to know that I have an online business I do not need to tell her.

There is no store lease or inventory to give me away. I can do everything late at night or early in the morning. I can even call in sick from my “day job” to get my website back up with no one but those I live with any wiser. In fact, it is precisely this freedom that draws many of us to a home based business online, right?

Lastly, and somewhat of a counterpoint to #1 above, if what you are doing is enjoyable and worthwhile, then there is no need to apologize for it. In fact, your excitement about what you do can change others’ negativity into something beneficial. This is a lesson in independence and self-confidence. While it is certainly important to have support and accountability with people you trust, this does not have to mean success comes only when they approve.

Sometimes people just do not understand. Not everyone lives with computers the way you do. For many, business will always mean four walls and a sign outside. Your confidence and pride in what you are doing will help others to believe in you and possibly want to join you.

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